Forty teams started the race Feb.17 and 18 teams scratched. Last year’s champions Marc McKenna and Dusty VanMeter won the race again with an elapsed time of 36 hours, 58 minutes, and 54 seconds.
In second place were Tyler Aklestad and Tyson Johnson with a time of: 37:49:39. In third were Mike Morgan and Chris Olds with a time of: 38:17:22.
According to the website, propshopak.com, which followed Team 19 throughout the race, the two Bethel men had to overcome mechanical problems and medical injuries to push through to the finish. Steven Boney ended up with a tendon injury after Nome and raced under some pain for over 800 miles.
Last year–their rookie year–they finished the race in 14th place. They both ride Yamahas.
Also racing this year in his rookie run was former Bethel resident, Vince Salzbrun, who now lives in Eagle River. He finished in 19th place. Salzbrun teamed up with Michael Williams of Anchorage for Team 28. They raced Ski-Doos.
The Iron Dog race runs from Wasilla to Nome and then back to Fairbanks.
Of the 18 teams that scratched, reasons for quitting ranged from mechanical problems to injuries, illness and frostbite.